A Windows Phone principal program manager has left the company two weeks after making headlines for tweeting his impressions of an unreleased Nokia phone running the Microsoft mobile operating system.

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed this morning that Joe Marini, principal program manager for the Windows Phone web platform, no longer works for the company, but declined to provide further details, citing a policy against discussing personnel matters.

But the back story, as we understand it from people inside the company, is that Marini resigned after learning that he would be let go for improper use of social media and disclosure of confidential information.

We’ve reached out to Marini and will update this post when we hear back.

The tweets are still online, starting with this one: “I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking #Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too! #wp7

Asked to rate it on a scale of 1-10, he replied, “Overall I would say an 8. Solid feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction.”

Explaining why he didn’t give it a higher score, and whether the camera was as good as people expected, he tweeted, “Yeah, the camera was good, but I didn’t have optimal lighting. I’d like a larger screen too.”

Microsoft’s social media and blogging policy (PDF) calls on its employees to “be smart” and not disclose information in tweets or posts that would otherwise be considered confidential.

Marini had been at Microsoft since 2003, and has given a variety of public talks over the years, including one at Microsoft’s Build conference in Anaheim last week.

The company has been taking harder line on leaks in general recently, including dismissing one journalist from the Build conference for prematurely posting video content about the Windows 8 operating system after agreeing to an embargo.

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Comments

  • Thomas R.

    3…2…1…Hired by Google? 

    • EvilKiru

      Why would they hire a known leaker?

      • Thomas R.

        Because MS has a bad habit of firing or pushing out good employees for stupid reasons and then have Google scoop them up. 

        This guy will probably end up on the Android team. =PMS is still stuck in top down innovation which goes nowhere. Places like Google that have bottom up innovation will always move faster.

        • http://www.jrotech.com/ Jeff Rodenburg

          He’s a good employee because he tweeted something against MS policy? Apple would fire anyone who tweeted something like this, regardless of the commentary.

          I fail to see the connection between things like bottom-up innovation and this story.

          • Guest

            “Apple would fire anyone who tweeted something like this, regardless of the commentary.”

            At Apple most employees would get fired for making an unsanctioned comment period.

          • http://twitter.com/keylimesoda keylimesoda

            If you did something like this, even if you’re not an employee, Apple would SEND SCARY PEOPLE TO WHERE YOU LIVE!

          • Guest

            Pretending to be police!

        • Guest

          Would you kindly name other “stupid reasons,” besides posting partner information without authorisation, that Microsoft uses to fire people?

          • Guest

            Politics is by far #1. Followed distantly by the forced curve.

          • Guest

            Keep talking. Define “politics” and “the forced curve” as Microsoft would, keeping in mind I want to know why they are “stupid.”

          • RSoames

            Reading these comments a few years later, the person griping about wanting proof that the forced curve is stupid should probably be eating their words right about now. :)

          • Guest

            Keep talking. Define “politics” and “the forced curve” as Microsoft would, keeping in mind I want to know why they are “stupid.”

          • Guest

            Ask Bob Muglia.

      • Anonymous

        More like an effective advertiser.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

    That’s a shame. Looks like they made an example out of an employee who was, otherwise, doing a good job.

    • Guest

      Yeah. But then Nokia is their partner and probably didn’t appreciate this leak either. Had it been MS only maybe he would have received a warning. But it wasn’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    Can I have is old job?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    Can I have is old job?

    • Guest

      Not after posting this request publicly. Sorry. ;-)

    • Anonymous

      It depends on what the definition of “is” is…..

  • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

    Marini had quite a habit of tweeting/showing off unreleased features of Windows Phones, too, a la this back in March: http://www.liveside.net/2011/03/14/ie9-mobile-shown-at-sxswif-you-find-joe-marini/.  My only surprise is that he wasn’t reprimanded for that, too.

    • Guest

      Perhaps he was (for that one or some other occurrence) and that’s why this one resulted in termination?

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyfal Jimmy Fallon

    I would have fired him too. He should have known better. Can you imagine leaking out that the camera was not as good as it should have been, that could affect sales based on the fact that he may have taken one bad picture. Pretty dumb tweet if you ask me.

    • Michaelndn

      He was fired for saying the phone only rated an 8, and the camera is not as good.

      • Rcbapb

        So I guess he should have rated it a 10, regardless? Best phone ever! Great! Amazing! Go buy it! He would have lied, but kept his job. People reading would have been misinformed, but apparently nobody seems to care about that. As long as you don’t say anything “bad” about the company you work for, right? And how bad is an 8 anyway? I would be very happy with a phone that rates 8 by someone who is probably very critical due to his knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    so did Stephen Elop get fired..what he did was worse 

    • http://twitter.com/rcastano rcastano

      Elop doesn’t get fired.  He would jump off the burning platform first.

      • Anonymous

        well the arson usually is the first to run from the scene, then watch from a far. :)

  • Anonymous

    Now thats exactly what I am talking about dude. Well done.
    anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    Now thats exactly what I am talking about dude. Well done.
    anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    Now thats exactly what I am talking about dude. Well done.
    anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    Now thats exactly what I am talking about dude. Well done.
    anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    Now thats exactly what I am talking about dude. Well done.
    anon-web-toolz.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    :(

  • Anonymous

    If that is this guy’s only problem then Google should snap him up.  He’s very unlikely to do anything close to this again, plus he’ll be loyal and grateful for the chance. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuckop Charles Oppermann

    Who was the journalist who was dismissed?

  • Anonymous

    Truthfully, Microsoft’s marketing of Windows Phone has been so abysmal, that they need all the help they can get, even if it comes in the form of tweets. Does Microsoft ever want any of it’s products to succeed. They failed to market Zune. Not once did I ever see a Zune commercial or print ever. I haven’t seen a Windows Phone ad in more than 6 months, not a single one. Meanwhile I see iPad and iPhone ads multiple times a day, every day. I see different Android phone ads all the time.

    Do these idiots at Microsoft not even realize you have to market your OS and the phones? They obviously don’t even care if they succeed in mobile, or they’re too damn stupid to know what to do. It’s pathetic and shameful. I mean, how can a company that makes tens of billions of dollars in profit every year not know to market their products.

    I love Windows Phone, but it doesn’t have a prayer in hell if Microsoft can’t at least get off their ass and do something, and they will deserve to have failed, just like they deserved to fail with Zune. If it does fail, I’ll simply move onto an iPhone. I’d like to keep my WP, but it doesn’t look like Microsoft wants me to keep it.

    • happyhardik

      I am not sure which part of the world you are, but here in India, Nokia is marketing WP phones! I guess they are trying it off with India and after the initial reviews, they may go for US and rest of the world.

  • http://twitter.com/superaca aca suharsya

    right now he is wondering why he wasnt out of battery on that time.

  • Werwer

    Marini was an idiot – clueless marketing hack that bullshitted his way through life. Yes I know him personally.

    • Forest Key

      I also know joe, who yes has done some  marketing, but is also a highly skilled engineer and program manager and very well regarded.  “werwer”, would love to see you post such a vile statement about somebody that you “know personally” under your real name instead of behind the comfort of a pseudohandle?

  • http://www.twitter.com/algard algard

    Wow, popular post… top blog post all week w/ 30+ comments? Wonder if a lot of first-time Microsoftie readers are here. If so, welcome to Geekwire and the rest of our awesome Seattle tech community. Posts like this are a lot more intriguing: http://www.geekwire.com/2011/techstars-shines-24m-graduates-flight. Check out the wonderful community lurking outside of Redmond! :)

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